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Anthonia Isichei

Articles by Anthonia Isichei

Mastercard Unveils New Start Path Initiative for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Companies

4 days ago

Global payment giant Mastercard has introduced a new Start Path startup engagement program for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, with the aim of improving innovation and increasing crypto adoption.
Seven Crypto and Blockchain Companies Join Startup Program
In a press release on Tuesday (July 27, 2021) Mastercard revealed that seven cryptocurrency and blockchain startups have joined the company’s new Start Path program. Since the beginning of the startup initiative in 2014, over 250 startups have participated.
The new Start Path program targeting blockchain and cryptocurrency companies would make it safer and easier for institutions and retailers to trade and hold cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the seven startups participating in the initiative are Singapore-based

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Tether Executives Allegedly Under DOJ Investigation for Suspected Bank Fraud

5 days ago

Tether executives are reportedly facing a probe from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), as prosecutors are looking into the company’s past activities with its banking partners.
According to Bloomberg on Monday (July 26, 2021), the information came from three anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The DOJ is investigating whether banks were aware of the crypto-based transactions carried out by Tether.
USDT is the largest stablecoin by market capitalization. The total number of tokens in circulation is worth over $68 billion.
This fact alone carries worrying notes for the cryptocurrency market if the investigation goes through.
Meanwhile, Tether has been in the crosshairs of US regulators for years. After a long legal tussle between the company and the office of the

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Blockchain Startups Raised over $4 Billion in VC Funding in Q2 2021

7 days ago

Most blockchain-based startups have seen funding from venture backers, despite the current cryptocurrency market downturn, recording over $4 billion in Q2 alone.
This massive venture capital backing is in keeping with the established trend of VC funding for blockchain firms as investors look to be part of the new wave of disruption associated with decentralized finance.
VC Backers Continue to Dole Out Funding for Blockchain Startups
According to CNBC on Thursday (July 22, 2021), venture capital investors seem not to worry about the volatile nature associated with the crypto market, especially with the current slump in market prices. Bitcoin, which reached an all-time high )ATH) of over $63,000 back in April, is trading within the $33,000 range, losing over 50% of its ATH.

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Robinhood Says Low Crypto Trading Activity Could Cause Revenue Decline in Q3 2021

12 days ago

In its amended initial public filing (IPO) prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Popular stock trading platform Robinhood revealed that it is expecting its revenue to drop in Q3 2021 as a result of the cool-off in the trading activity of the cryptocurrency market. 
Robinhood Expecting Drop in Revenue
With Robinhood planning to go public this July, the trading app revealed in a revised SEC filing that a decrease in retail trading activity could result in the company recording low revenue in Q3 2021 compared to revenue generated in the second quarter. 
According to Robinhood, the company experienced a surge in trading activity in January and February 2021, which later returned “to levels more in line with prior periods during the last few weeks

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EOS Pumps 10% as Bullish Announces Planned NYSE Listing via SPAC Merger

22 days ago

Bullish Global, the cryptocurrency company operating under the hat of the blockchain software firm, has revealed plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Bullish made the announcement via a press release on Friday (July 9th, 2021). According to the publication, the firm plans to go public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Far Peak Acquisition Corporation.
The alliance between Bullish and Far Peak indicates a pro forma equity value of about $9 billion, subject to adjustment based on the value of crypto assets at the close of the transaction.
There were discussions about a SPAC merger back in June, with speculations that the alliance could see Bullish valued at $12 billion.
While the Boards of Directors of

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Coinbase to Launch a DApp Store After Getting Crypto Custody License from BaFin

June 30, 2021

Germany’s financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, also known as BaFin, issued a license to Major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to enable its local subsidiary to carry out cryptocurrency custody business in the country.
BaFin announced the news of the approval via an official release on Monday (June 28, 2021). According to the German regulator, Coinbase was the first crypto exchange to get BaFin’s license to operate crypto custody services.
Back in 2019, German lawmakers passed a law, stating that platforms wishing to operate a legal crypto custody service must obtain a license from BaFin. In 2020, there were reports that a minimum of 40 banks already applied to receive such approval from BaFin.
With crypto custody license issuance being

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John McAfee’s Demise a Bottleneck for the U.S. Government’s Asset Recovery Efforts

June 30, 2021

With the death of the eccentric British-American computer programmer and cryptocurrency proponent, John McAfee, the U.S. government could find it difficult to confiscate funds belonging to the tech entrepreneur.
Absence of Death Certificate Stalling Further Process
As previously reported by CryptoPotato, McAfee was found dead after committing suicide in a prison in Barcelona, Spain. McAfee’s death happened a few hours after the Spanish authorities authorized the entrepreneur’s extradition to the U.S.
Meanwhile, almost a week after that, it seems that the U.S. government will have a hard time seizing the tech entrepreneur’s property or assets. According to a Bloomberg report, legal experts say that the recovery process could take a long time.
The likely way for authorities

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PayPal and Visa Lead $300M Funding for Blockchain Capital

June 22, 2021

Blockchain Capital remains a major tech backer in the DLT space with investments in numerous crypto and DLT projects.
Fund V with $300M Funding
According to a press release published on Monday (June 22, 2021), Blockchain Capital has closed funding for its Fund V LP. The capital raise reportedly drew participation from several high-profile backers including global payment giants Visa and PayPal.
Capped at $300 million, Blockchain Capital’s latest fund was oversubscribed likely pointing to the continued appetite for DLT-related funding despite the current crypto market downturn. Apart from Visa and PayPal, university endowments, hedge funds, family offices, and pension funds also participated in the capital raise.
Bart Stephens, co-founder and managing partner at Blockchain

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War on Illegal Bitcoin Mining: Iran Confiscates 7,000 BTC Mining Machines

June 22, 2021

Iranian authorities have confiscated about 7,000 cryptocurrency mining machines. The latest development is in line with Iran’s crackdown on illegal bitcoin mining activities.
According to Reuters on Tuesday (June 22, 2021), General Hossein Rahimi, Tehran police chief, revealed that the computer miners were found at an abandoned factory in Iran’s capital, which was used to carry out illegal cryptocurrency mining activities.
The latest seizure is the largest ever carried out by Iranian authorities. Back in January, the Iranian government confiscated over 1,500 unlicensed crypto mining farms. In the same month, authorities seized 45,000 bitcoin mining rigs.
Iran’s cheap electricity has seen an influx of bitcoin miners to the country. A study by Elliptic, a blockchain and

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Bitcoin Bear Market Fears Sparked by Institutional Outflows and Whale Capitulation

June 21, 2021

Now, on-chain analytics and reports from fund managers are showing significant Bitcoin outflows amid continued crypto restrictions in China.
Multiple Bitcoin Bear Market Signals
In its weekly report for the period ending June 21, 2021, published on Monday, digital asset investment outfit CoinShares revealed $79 million in outflows from institutional crypto investment funds.
This report marks the third consecutive seven-day period to see a negative balance on the flow of institutional crypto funds monitored by the firm for the first time since the bear market of 2018.
Monday’s report likely offers another signal of bearish sentiments in the crypto space, at least in the short term. Beginning in February 2018, CoinShares recorded seven consecutive weeks of outflows from

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El Salvador Considers Paying Workers Salaries in Bitcoin

June 15, 2021

Following the adoption of bitcoin as the country’s second legal tender, El Salvador’s government is discussing if companies would pay their employees in bitcoin.
In a tweet by a local radio station 107.7 Fuego on Tuesday (June 15, 2021), three government ministries were considering the possibility of companies’ workers receiving their wages in BTC. This was revealed by the Minister of Labor, Rolando Castro.
According to Castro, the decision to pay salaries in bitcoin will come after the bitcoin’s legal tender status becomes law. The Ministry of Labour is working with the Ministries of the Economy Finance to analyze the decision.
As reported by CryptoPotato earlier in June, a supermajority of El Salvador’s Congress voted in favor of President Nayib Bukele’s bitcoin plan.

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Central American Financial Institution to Help El Salvador Implement its Bitcoin Legalization 

June 14, 2021

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), an international multilateral development bank headquartered in Honduras, said that it will work with the El Salvadoran government to implement bitcoin as the country’s second legal tender.
According to Reuters, on Monday (June 14, 2021), the executive president of CABEI, Dante Mossi, revealed the bank’s plans at a new conference. Mossi said that the major financial institution would offer technical assistance to El Salvador to assist the country in legalizing bitcoin.
The CABEI head also said that it would create a team in collaboration with El Salvador’s Ministry of Finance and the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador, the country’s central bank, to help implement bitcoin as a legal tender.
Meanwhile, the latest

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JPMorgan Implies that El Salvador’s Bitcoin Move Has no Economic Benefits 

June 13, 2021

Following El Salvador’s move to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender in the country, Wall Street giant JPMorgan seems not to be impressed by such a monumental decision from the Central American nation.
JPMorgan Comments on El Salvador’s Bitcoin Move
In a recent note to investors, as tweeted by Financial Times correspondent Robin Wigglesworth, JPMorgan commented that the recent move made by El Salvador to make bitcoin legal tender was growth-oriented. However, the American investment bank seemed to imply that the decision by the country had no economic benefit, adding that it could hinder its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
According to a statement from JPMorgan:

“It is difficult to see any tangible economic benefits associated with adopting bitcoin as a

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Crypto Exposure Protocols on the Agenda for Global Banking Regulator

June 9, 2021

The global banking body is seeking stakeholder opinions on the best course of action on the issue of banks interacting with crypto assets. From central banks and other regulators to intergovernmental working bodies, legacy finance gatekeepers seem to be paying greater attention to the emerging cryptocurrency market.
Public Consultation on Crypto Assets
According to a communique issued by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on Monday (June 7, 2021), the Basel Committee is turning its attention to cryptocurrencies. The move is part of a wider post-crisis study amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Detailing its crypto-related plans, the Basel Committee, which is the primary global standard on matters concerning banking regulation and supervision, agreed to hold a

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U.S. DOJ Retrieves Over $2.1 Million in Bitcoin Paid as Ransom by Colonial Pipeline

June 8, 2021

The United States Department of Justice said that it recovered over $2 million worth of bitcoin, which was the majority of the ransom paid by the U.S. oil pipeline giant Colonial Pipeline to cybercriminal group DarkSide.
DoJ Recovers 63.7 BTC
The DoJ made the announcement in a press release on Monday (June 7, 2021). According to it, the department retrieved 63.7 bitcoins, worth $2.1 million, at the time. The operation was undertaken by the Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, a unit created by the Justice Department in April to combat ransomware attacks.
Back in May, Colonial Pipeline suffered a ransomware attack from a criminal hacking group known as DarkSide, thereby crippling the company’s operations. Colonial Pipeline halted operations for almost a week due to

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Former US President Donald Trump: Bitcoin Looks Like a Scam

June 7, 2021

Former President of the United States Donald Trump has said that he is not a fan of bitcoin because of the threat the flagship cryptocurrency poses against the U.S. dollar.
Donald Trump. Image by BloombergIn a telephone interview on Monday (June 7, 2021), Trump called bitcoin a scam because he did not like that the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was competing against the U.S. dollar.
According to the former U.S. President, the dollar’s hegemony status should be permanent.

“Bitcoin just seems like a scam…I don’t like it because it is another currency competing against the dollar. Essentially it’s a currency competing against the dollar.  I want the dollar to be the currency of the world, that is what I have always said.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s dislike for

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Major Convenience Store Sheetz to Accept Bitcoin Payments

May 28, 2021

U.S. chain of convenience stores Sheetz, has become the latest company to adopt cryptocurrency, as the firm is planning to include bitcoin and other crypto-assets among its payment options.
Sheetz Adopts Bitcoin
According to a press release on Thursday (May 27, 2021), Sheetz will become the first convenience store retailer to accept bitcoin as a payment method. The family-owned business founded in 1952 operates over 600 stores in different locations in the U.S.
The latest development will see a partnership deal between Sheetz and Flexa, a digital payments network that enables crypto payments at physical stores. Flexa converts crypto to U.S. dollars for the receiving merchant in real-time, making it easier for retail stores to accept cryptocurrency.
Sheetz will allow

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eBay Now Allows the Sale of NFTs on its Platform

May 11, 2021

E-commerce giant eBay has become the first in its industry to catch the non-fungible tokens (NFT) mania, as the company is now allowing the sale of NFTs on its platform.
According to Reuters on Tuesday (May 11, 2021), eBay said that it would enable the sale of NFTs for digital collectibles such as video clips, images, or trading cards on its marketplace.
Meanwhile, the ability to list and sell NFTs would be open only to whitelisted sellers. This could mean that the platform may have an authentication protocol for listing NFTs.
The latest development comes on the heels of a recent statement made by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, who said that the company was exploring the NFT sector.
Commenting on the company’s upcoming plans, Jordan Sweetman, eBay’s senior vice president, and

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Robinhood’s Q1 2021 Shows 450% Growth in Crypto Trading on its Platform

April 9, 2021

Robinhood, a popular U.S. crypto brokerage app, announced that it recorded an almost six-fold increase in the number of users that traded cryptocurrency using its platform in Q1 2021.
In a blog post published on Thursday (April 8, 2021), Robinhood noted that 9.5 million users carried out crypto trading via the platform in the first quarter of 2021, signaling a spike from its Q4 2020 record of 1.7 million.
The company’s Q1 2021 record further shows the growing popularity of the crypto industry. In addition, Robinhood also noted growth in its cryptocurrency team, which had more than tripled since the start of the year.
According to the blog post, Robinhood Crypto was created to offer a simple, cheap, and efficient means of trading crypto. The platform supports seven crypto

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Fake Bitcoin Sellers Steal Close to $500K From Victims

March 28, 2021

Two suspects have been accused of stealing almost $500,000 from unsuspecting victims in fraudulent bitcoin transactions in Hong Kong.Fake It Till You Steal ItAccording to a report by the South China Morning Post on Tuesday (Mar. 23, 2021), the victims, aged 33 and 31, were deceived by two con artists in a fake bitcoin transaction. The cons who posed as bitcoin sellers managed to steal HK$3.85 million ($495,650) from the victims.The victims, who work at a money exchange company, went to a shop in Tin Hau to purchase bitcoin with the cash. Meanwhile, a middleman whose identity was not revealed connected the buyers to the fake bitcoin sellers.After handing over the cash to the fraudsters, one of the con artists left the shop with the funds, pretending to carry out some paperwork regarding the

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Indian Companies Required to Report Crypto Transactions

March 26, 2021

While the cryptocurrency landscape in India is still faced with regulatory uncertainty, the government has directed that companies should disclose details of their crypto transactions and holdings.Possible Crypto Regulation for India?According to a document published on March 24, both public and private firms in India care to disclose details of their cryptocurrency activities during the financial year. The new rule follows an amendment made by the country’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs to Schedule III of the Companies Act, 2013.The details include profit or losses made on crypto investment or trading and cryptocurrency holdings as of reporting date. Companies are also to report advance payments made by clients with the aim of cryptocurrency investment or trading.Meanwhile, stakeholders

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Goldman Sachs Files for a Bitcoin ETF With the SEC

March 24, 2021

Major U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs has filed a prospectus with the U.S. Securities and exchange Commission (SEC) for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that could offer exposure to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.In a recent document filing, Goldman Sachs is seeking approval from the SEC to launch an ETF called the ARK Innovation ETF.According to the banking giant, the ETF would focus on companies that offer what it considers “disruptive innovation” while stating that it could offer exposure to bitcoin.An excerpt from the filing reads:“The ETF may have exposure to cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, indirectly through an investment in a grantor trust. The ETF’s exposure to cryptocurrency may change over time and, accordingly, such exposure may not always be represented in the ETF’s

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Latin America’s First Approved Bitcoin ETF to raise $90 Million to Buy BTC

March 23, 2021

Following the recent approval of QR Capital’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), the Brazillian company is looking to raise $90 million to buy the bitcoin needed before trading commences.Working Towards Acquiring BitcoinQR Capital made history after Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) approved its application for a Bitcoin ETF, becoming the first of such in Latin America. As reported by CryptoPotato, the 100% Bitcoin ETF would trade on the Sao Paulo stock exchange, B3, under the ticker QBTC 11.While trading is scheduled to commence in June 2021, the company behind the Bitcoin ETF stated that it was aiming to raise 500 million BRL ($90 million) to acquire bitcoin, according to a Forbes report.Meanwhile, Fernando Carvalho, founder, and CEO of QR Capital said the company was

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Tim Draper Handpicks Netflix as the Next Company to Purchase Bitcoin

March 3, 2021

Popular venture capitalist and Bitcoin bull Timothy “Tim” Draper predicted that major online streaming platform Netflix could be the next company to join the bitcoin buying bandwagon.Next Bitcoin Investor Could Be NetflixSpeaking in a recent episode of the Unstoppable Podcast, Tim Draper stated that Netflix could be the next in line to add bitcoin to its balance sheet. According to him, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, makes Netflix a likely bitcoin investor. Draper buttressed his point, saying:“I think Reed Hastings is a very innovative guy and has a lot of creative thinking and I think he still controls the reins at Netflix. And so I think that might be the next big one to fall.”Meanwhile, the venture capitalist mentioned social media giant Facebook, as well as other

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MoneyGram Suspends Trading on Ripple’s Platform, XRP Price Slumps 15%

February 23, 2021

Money transfer giant MoneyGram is suspending its partnership deal with Ripple, following the ongoing legal battle between the latter and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).MoneyGram announced the news of the suspension in its Q4 and full-year 2020 financial results published on Monday (Feb. 22, 2021). As part of its Q1 2021 outlook, the company said:“In addition, the Company is not planning for any benefit from Ripple market development fees in the first quarter. Due to the uncertainty concerning their ongoing litigation with the SEC, the Company has suspended trading on Ripple’s platform. In the first quarter of 2020, the Company realized a net expense benefit of $12.1 million from Ripple market development fees.”MoneyGram and blockchain company Ripple struck a two-year

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Canada’s First Bitcoin ETF Rakes in Over $400 Million in Assets Within Two Days

February 22, 2021

North America’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has seen impressive results on its first two days of trading, following its recent approval by Canada’s securities regulatory body.Purpose Bitcoin ETF started on a flying note shortly after it began trading on Thursday (Feb. 18, 2021) under the ticker symbol “BTCC” on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).Following its TSX debut, the fund has already accumulated $421 million in assets within the first two days of trading.According to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF’s performance surpassed analysts’ estimates, adding that “if it were to keep up this pace, it will be the biggest ETF in Canada in 20 days.”STUNNING: The Canada Bitcoin ETF $BTCC already has collected $421m in assets first two days (crushing our

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Japanese Giant SBI Holdings Plans to Form Joint Cryptocurrency Venture

February 21, 2021

Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings revealed that it was planning to establish a joint cryptocurrency venture that would serve as one of the company’s key earners.SBI Expanding Crypto ServicesAccording to Reuters on Monday (Feb. 15, 2021), SBI’s founder and CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, the company was discussing with international financial firms to set up the new crypto business. The latest development was part of SBI’s plans to expand its crypto business.The company has been active in the crypto industry since 2018. As reported by CryptoPotato back in December 2020, SBI acquired B2C2, a UK-based cryptocurrency liquidity provider. Prior to the B2C2 acquisition deal, the Japanese financial giant bought a local crypto exchange, Tao Tao. SBI also launched a crypto lending service in

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Bitcoin More of a Gold Rival Than Actual Currency, Says St. Louis Fed President

February 16, 2021

Jim Bullard, President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, has dismissed the value proposition of Bitcoin (BTC) based on some of the oft-quoted advantages claimed by BTC proponents.Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday, Bullard remarked that the Federal Reserve viewed Bitcoin as more of a rival to gold than an actual currency.According to Bullard, “For Fed policy, it is going to be a dollar economy and a dollar global economy as far as the eye can see.”For Bullard, the primacy of the U.S. dollar is not dependent on Bitcoin or gold, experiencing significant changes in price action.The St. Louis Fed President also remarked that Bitcoin was only one of the emerging digital currencies in the market.According to Bullard, a non-uniform currency regime is not desirable, arguing that people are already faced

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Verge (XVG) Goes Through an Attempted 51% Attack

February 16, 2021

Verge, a privacy-centric cryptocurrency, reportedly suffered an attempted 51% attack, causing a massive blockchain reorganization, which wiped off over six months of transactions.200 Days Worth of Verge Transactions Wiped OffThe issue was first revealed by Antoine Le Calvez, chief data engineer at blockchain research company Coin Metrics. Tweeting on February 15, Le Calvez noted that 0over 560,000 blocks were affected.Le Calvez’s colleague, Lucas Nuzzi, who is Coin Metrics’ network data product manager, also said that the block reorganization effectively erased 200 days worth of transactions on Verge. Nuzzi added that the incident was “likely the deepest reorg that has ever taken place in a “top 100” cryptocurrency.”The past 200 days worth of $XVG transaction history just vanished.This is

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Uniswap Surpasses $100 Billion Cumulative Trading Volume Milestone

February 15, 2021

Uniswap (UNI) has become the first decentralized exchange (DEX) to reach $100 billion in cumulative trading volume as the appetite for the decentralized finance (DeFi) market continues to grow. Meanwhile, the UNI token recently set a new all-time high, with the platform now boasting about $4 billion in total value locked (TVL).Uniswap Crosses $100B LandmarkTweeting on Monday (Feb. 15, 2021), platform creator Hayden Adams revealed that Uniswap had surpassed $100 billion in cumulative trading volume. Uniswap is the first DEX to reach this milestone and is a further testament to the massive growth in DEX activity since the middle of 2020.🦄 @Uniswap just became the first decentralized trading platform to process over $100b in volume – an exciting milestone for DeFi 🚀

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