Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey has revealed that his fintech company, Square is building a new unit that is focused on creating and implementing decentralized finance (DeFi) services on the Bitcoin network.
The DeFi industry has grown to be one of the biggest industries in the cryptocurrency market as Total Value Locked (TVL) across all DeFi platforms has skyrocketed to approximately $110 billion from $2 billion (a 5,400% growth comparing the current TVL to what it was a year ago in July).
Jack Dorsey announced via Twitter earlier on Friday stating, “Square is creating a new business (joining Seller, Cash App, & Tidal) focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services. Our primary focus is #Bitcoin. Its name is TBD.”
He also added, “Like our new #Bitcoin hardware wallet, we’re going to do this completely in the open. Open roadmap, open development, and open source. @brockm is leading and building this team and we have some ideas around the initial platform primitives we want to build.”
As earlier reported by Themoneymetrics, Jack Dorsey confirmed rumours that Square is building a Bitcoin Hard Wallet, touted to be a mobile-friendly, “assisted-self-custody” wallet to a global audience. In the tweet, he named engineer Mike Brock as the head of the new division. Mike Brock is known for leading the development team that worked on integrating Bitcoin features for the Cash App back in 2018.
The Bitcoin network currently does not support smart contract capabilities, making it difficult to compete with Ethereum-based DeFi and other DeFi enabled blockchain cryptocurrencies.
According to data from Defi Llama, Ethereum dominates the top 100 DeFi platforms in terms of locked value (TVL), with Aave topping the list with $10.1 billion in TVL. Binance Smart Chain, a close competitor to Ethereum’s blockchain, also provides competition with platforms such as PancakeSwap with $3.76 billion in TVL and Venus with $1.49 billion in TVL.
What this could mean for Ethereum and Square
Although Bitcoin is the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization currently standing at $596 billion with a current market price of approximately $32,000, it has been having a hard time competing with Ethereum because of its lack of smart contract capability. Square’s involvement with Bitcoin-based DeFi projects could provide fiercer competition to Ethereum, which has been a key player in the DeFi space.
Also, the Bitcoin Taproot Upgrade earlier reported will also aid with the creation of Bitcoin-based DeFi projects. The upgrade is expected in November 2021.
Square’s new Unnamed Bitcoin-based DeFi division will add to its current service portfolio that includes Cash App, Square Seller and the Tidal streaming service. If the company can make DeFi on the Bitcoin network possible coupled with the hard wallet that is also being developed, it will solidify the fintech’s name as a global financial technology giant.
Stellar is flying high on Moneygram buyout rumours
Stellar’s XLM token is enjoying great buying pressures following rumours that the Stellar Development Foundation has expressed interest in buying popular American remittance provider, MoneyGram.
Reports that Stellar is working with Advent on a potential acquisition of MoneyGram further pushed the crypto asset past its strong resistance level of 25 cents.
Though private sources reveal no final decision has been made yet, investors are weighing positively on the crypto asset on the account it could provide additional synergy for Stellar, which already oversees a network for facilitating cross-border payments.
At the time of drafting this report, the fast-rising crypto asset on the FTX exchange posted daily gains of about 12% as it traded near $0.27 cent with a daily trading volume of $1.2 billion.
The 17th most valuable crypto asset presently has a market value of $6.3 billion. It has a circulating supply of 23.4 billion XLM coins and a maximum supply of 50,001,806,812 XLM coins.
Stellar began its operation about six years ago with the major aim of facilitating financial inclusion globally by reaching the world’s unbanked, particularly in many parts of Africa and minor Asia.
However, the fintech company updated these objectives by focusing on assisting financial institutions to connect with each other through blockchain technology.
Its crypto token is known as the lumens, with the purpose of making it fairly cheap to trade financial assets across borders. The mission is to outplace many existing payment providers, who often charge high fees for such services.
Binance U.S plans IPO
Binance U.S, a cryptocurrency exchange and one of the subsidiaries of Binance Group that operates in the United States, is looking to go public. This news comes as the exchange is facing a lot of heat from regulators around the world.
The announcement was made by Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao popularly known as “CZ” at the blockchain virtual summit “REDeFiNE Tomorrow” 2021.
CZ spoke about the ongoing regulatory issues and plans the exchange has for the future. He expressed his optimism on Binance facing a lot more regulations in the future, noting that the company “is in the mindset of shifting from a tech startup to a financial service.”
He reiterated that Binance had been aggressively increasing its compliance efforts, including hiring former regulators. Last week, at the Binance 4th anniversary, CZ stated that it had increased its compliance team by 500% and expects to increase by another 1000% by the end of the year.
The CEO admitted that the company has not been fully complying and cooperating with regulators, stating that their relationship with regulators has not been the firm’s “strong suit,” and pointing out the urgent need to localize compliance communications.
CZ stated that regardless of the current regulatory crisis Binance is facing, he does not rule out the possibility of Binance US going public one day, as the exchange is seeking ways to go for an initial public offering (IPO). He stated, “Binance US is looking at the IPO route. Most regulators are familiar with a certain pattern or having headquarters, having corporate structure. But we are setting up those structures to make it easier for an IPO to happen.”
Binance US is a subsidiary of Binance Group and it operates as a separate entity from the parent company. Binance US was Launched in 2019 and receives branding support from the parent company. Brian Brooks, who was the former acting comptroller of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, became CEO of Binance US earlier this year to help the exchange compete with other exchanges like Coinbase and expand its operations across the United States.
Also, to add, Binance has been subject to a lot of regulatory sanctions and investigations from global regulators, including the United States. The States Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have been investigating Binance for alleged illegal trading activity involving users in the United States. In March, Binance reportedly became the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regarding alleged trades by U.S. customers.
Binance’s native token BNB is currently trading at $293.20, down 0.09% for the day, as of the time of writing this report. Binance has also recently burned the equivalent of $400 million BNB token as part of its obligation to burn 20% of its quarterly earnings.
Julius Berger Plc reveals 8 major contracts won in 2021
Nigeria’s leading construction company, Julius Berger Plc, won 8 new major construction projects for 2021, its company annual financials revealed. The company makes money by taking on construction projects from state and federal governments as well as corporations and private individuals.
According to information contained in its latest annual report, Julius Berger Plc won projects spanning the construction of flyovers, bridges, roads and buildings. These projects are expected to drive the company’s revenue growth for Full-Year 2021. Currently, the company has 13 ongoing projects and has secured 8 new projects, which are:
1. Department of Petroleum Resources, New Headquarters, Abuja which is estimated to cost a total of N35 billion.
2. Office rehabilitation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Abuja.
3. Construction of Flyover at New GRA Junction and Dualization of Tombia Road, Port Harcourt – Estimated to cost N36.8 billion.
4. Reconstruction of Oro-Abali and Rumuola Flyovers, Port Harcourt.
5. Construction of Access Roads to the Second River Niger Bridge, which is estimated to cost N208 billion.
6. Rehabilitation of Township Roads at New GRA, Woji Road, Port Harcourt.
7. Regency Hotel, Lagos.
8. Maintenance of Governor’s Residence, Lagos.
The company made a recovery in the first quarter of this year, reporting a 590.24% growth in net profit from N412.45 million in the corresponding quarter of 2020 to N2.83 billion. Profits were mostly driven by topline revenue growth from N55.9 billion in Q1 last year to N71.2 billion same period this year.
What they are saying
According to the Chairman of the company, Mutiu Sunmonu, CON, during the year, the Board of Directors approved the Company’s first diversification case. In his words, “The company will continue to progress Julius Berger Nigeria Plc’s corporate development activities to achieve long-term diversification strategy regarding client mix and business areas – assessing, exploring and activating opportunities beyond core construction business to strategically reduce risk, promote growth and strengthen cashflow and profitability.”
Julius Berger share price closed at N20.03 at the time of writing this report, up 35% in the last one year.
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